what is the inner voice?



We have this voice in our head where we talk or analyze situations and/or thoughts. We use it when we are reading in our head. Sometimes the inner voice helps us or makes us keep going in circle of thoughts( at least for me 😛)

What is this inner voice and why do we have it? When does it come into existence?

In: Other

By some definitions, that’s consciousness.

We have it, maybe (this is a topic of active research), because we have something called “theory of mind”…we know other people have brains too and we can simulate that to help predict what they’ll do. This is how we show empathy (feel what we think other people will feel), explore hypotheticals, evaluate options based on how other people might react, etc. But once you have a “theory of mind” you can turn it on any mind…including your own. So we can “think about our own thinking”.

Like a lot of other higher functions, it’s an emergent property of complex neutral structures in our brains. Exactly when it shows up is very hard to know for sure because it’s clearly not there when you don’t have any brain at all, and it’s clearly there at some point after we do, so we can pin down a window, but it appears to show up before we’ve developed the ability to speak or otherwise communicate complex thoughts so we can’t tell other people about it when it first shows up.